It's been a rough stretch for Orlando City. It all started last week with the U.S. Open Cup game at home against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and came to an end on America's Birthday. Here's a quick recap for those of you who have blocked out the painful memories.
- Last Wednesday, June 29, the team lost to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 on a goal at the death of extra time.
- Friday, July 1, Adrian Winter and Orlando City mutually parted ways so the Swiss midfielder can go back to Switzerland.
- Monday, July 4, the team came out with a listless effort against FC Dallas, losing 4-0.
- Wednesday, July 6, the team fired Head Coach Adrian Heath.
And let's be honest, that doesn't even count the debacle that was the club's choice not to allow season ticket holders access to the U.S. Open Cup game, the choice not to stream said game, or the raw emotions those choices left. Yeah, not a great few days for good old Kingston.
So, what do we as fans do? That's the easy one -- find a local World of Beer and try as many new and exotic brews as you can find, with some pretty awesome live music most evenings. A few of my personal favorite craft beers are from the Russian River Brewing Company and Cigar City Brewing Company. Don't forget, World of Beer doesn't sell food, but you can bring your own and many locations work in conjunction with the restaurants nearby.
Oh wait, you're more curious about how the team can recover and move on (that or maybe you either don't drink or can't legally enjoy adult beverages yet)? The first piece of good news is the next game is tomorrow night. The team won't have much time to sulk as the Lions have a home match against the Houston Dynamo. Nothing takes your mind off a terrible performance quite like diving right back into your work.
Did I mention the match is at home? Orlando City plays well in front of the faithful, so this may just be what the doctor ordered to get off this terrible slide. Hopefully a good crowd will be there for the game, and maybe hearing the chants and songs of 25K plus supporters will get some energy back into the players.
And let's not forget we're in the transfer window. The club is pursuing talent and has two international slots to fill, with voids left by Winter and Aurelien Collin. The Mane Land's own Sean Rollins has already reported about Orlando City being in talks with Uruguayan defender Jose Aja. With rumors and news already flying, this transfer period should give the supporters much to discuss and look forward to.
If we're being honest, this was just one bad Major League Soccer game combined with the loss of a popular player and...um...the only coach in the franchise's history. Sure the U.S. Open Cup game hurts because it's a loss to an in-state rival in a knockout competition, and the team didn't handle the situation well. Remember, this is the same team that beat Toronto FC the MLS game before and is right there in the thick of things for the playoffs. So let's not panic, find our local Worlds of Beer and have faith in the club until we have a real reason not to.
In the meantime, if any of you are friends with Gareth Bale, would you kindly let him know about this awesome team in sunny Central Florida that would be most interested in his services.